Elie Saab is a smart man. Not only did he cast two of Instagram’s most popular models, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, for his show, he also dressed them in separates that will find a home off the red carpet and on the streets. The move will quite possibly introduce a new generation of women to the brand, which first rose to international fame when Halle Berry accepted her Best Actress Academy Award dressed in an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown 13 years ago.
Bomber jackets, track pants, and pussy bow blouses came in contemporary fuchsia, lavender, and teal stripes; a floral bomber was highlighted with black accents or otherwise featured in all-over black lace. But the bones of the collection remained Saab’s signature embellished and embroidered evening gowns, and several of these looks made a strong nod to the negligee trend while light-as-air capes insinuated that his muse would be making a midnight rendezvous (or two).
For some time now, we have urged Saab to show us something other than his floor-skimming dresses so coveted by A-list celebrities and our own Middle Eastern clientele. And while he delivered, what he offered came across as somewhat of a hard sell. Ultimately, red carpet is what Saab does best and the white tracksuit with black stripes running down the sides will never make a mark like that chic tuxedo jacket with satin lapels over a lace pantsuit or that strappy sequin embroidered gown with semi-transparent skirt. A tiered ruffle midnight black lace gown or balloon-sleeved eyelet frock, under Saab’s expert hand, came across as more chic and on-brand than joggers.